Japanese firm Komatsu cuts plant production due to tumultuous economic climate

Ninety temporary engineering jobs have been slashed at a plant in Gateshead.

Japanese firm Komatsu said the tumultuous economic climate was responsible for the move, according to local reports.

In a briefing note to staff, the company’s UK managing director Peter Howe said production at the plant would be cut to three days a week until 21 July as falling sales of diggers across Europe took its toll on profits.

The plant’s summer shutdown will also be extended from two to three weeks.

Komatsu is the world’s second largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. Its Gateshead plant makes 3,500 diggers every year.